Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Wargamer's Christmas

Hello everyone!
As promised, here are the pictures of some of my Christmas gifts pertinent to the Napoleonic wargamer:

Uniforms of the Peninsular Wars, 1807-1814. This book is chock full of excellent color and black and white plates of uniforms, as well as written descriptions. This is a great book and covers all of the combatants in the Iberian Peninsula. There is another book on its way that was caught in the great mail backlogs here in the States: the first volume of the Funcken seires of Napoleonic uniform books, as I already have the second volume.
My favorite Napoleonic film on DVD, The Duellists, starring Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel. I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog of my fondness for this film, and it's nice to have my own copy. Below it in the picture is a new 000 Winsor and Newton brush. My mother is a university professor and the art supplies available at her campus bookstore make her a great resource for me.

Finally, my big gift, a set of organizers for my 15mm/1:72 scale Napoleonic collection. I've finally been able to get all of my figures off of the coffee table and into a real storage system. I've been wanting one of these for a long time, and now I finally have one! Though, by the the looks of things, I'll soon need another!
Not a whole lot new, but it's something. I've been working recently and I've been spending my available free time visiting with my sister, who is in from school for another week. I probably won't get back to painting until after the new year.

I just want to thank all of y'all who read my humble blog over the past year. Painting has gotten me through some very difficult times this past year, and I know that it will continue to do so in the future. This blog has almost reached 5,000 hits, a drop in the barrel for many, but for me it means a lot. Thank you for your support, and a happy New Year to you all!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone!

Hey, just a little Christmas greeting to all of my readers out there. I hope you and yours all have had a blessed Christmas season and I wish you all a happy New Year.

Not much has been going on on the painting front here lately... I've been spending the free time with my family and not on the Internet or painting. I did get some pretty good Christmas presents today that might interest a Napoleonic wargamer, and I'll post those when I get some pictures taken.

Have a wonderful holiday, and I'll be back with more soon!

Merry Christmas,


Monday, December 16, 2013

Spanish Granaderos

Hello everyone!
A real quick post tonight. I didn't have much time this weekend for painting, mainly due to the fact that my graduation was on Saturday and my grandparents came down for the ceremony. I was, however, able to finish up a stand of Spanish infantry, as well as get started on making some terrain for my games.
Tonight, I have for your viewing pleasure a stand of Granaderos of the Regiemiento del Rey, or the King's Regiment, of Spain. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

These lads are all Heritage figures; I had to scrounge through my lead pile to find some minis suitable for conversion to Spanish greandiers. Two of them (the drummer and fig on the front rank, far left) are "mystery Old Guard" figures that came in the Heritage lot I bought on eBay a long time ago, while the other four were French infantry. All of them had some knife and greenstuff work done to their headwear in order to make them into tall, plate-less bearskins with the distinctive elongated "bag" on the hat's back.

The uniform of the King's Regiment consisted of white jackets with royal purple facings, cuffs and collars, worn over white breeches with tall black gaiters. The bearskins of the grenadiers are dark brown with purple "bags" on the back, with gold, red and white embroidery. I've done my best to mimic the intricate and distinctivly Spanish embroidery pattern on the bearskins here.

Coming up: on the painting bases I have the King's Regiment's command stand, another stand of Portuguese infantry, and some more 3e hussars. I'll probably paint more Spanish next... now that school's out I have more free time to paint. I'm also working on some terrain, so that'll be up soon as well.

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Portuguese Infantry and Vistula Legion Command

Hello everyone!
Here are the rest of the stands that I finished last weekend. First up is another stand of Portuguese infantry.
(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

I'm pretty sure that these are Minifigs, but I'm not positive. They are really supposed to be Waterloo British that I've repurposed as Portuguese in the Barretina shako.

Next up is the brigade commander for the Vistula Legion, Général de Brigade Józef Grabinski.

This is really the General Poniatowski mounted figure that came in the Strelets-R 1/72 set that I've painted up as the General Grabinski for the Visula Legion brigade command. As always, my brigade commanders are mounted on a 4cm diameter round base. Both the uniform and the horse furniture based on two pictures, one each of both Generals Poniatowski and Dabrowski:



This is the uniform of a general officer from the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, the kingdom that was created by Napoleon that included the majority of present-day Poland.

The standing officer is wearing the uniform of the 3e Régiment de la Légion de la Vistule, with yellow cuffs, collar and facings. The figure was wearing a sash. I've never seen a picture of a French officer of the Napoleonic Wars wearing a sash, so I was at a loss for what to color to paint this Pole's sash. I could not find anything on the Net about sash color, so I went to one of my books, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars, which showed an officer in the 3e Polish Legion, which later became the Vistula Legion, wearing a silver and crimson sash. I said that it was good enough for me and painted it as such.

Coming up: probably won't get anything painted until sometime this weekend. Two more days of finals then my graduation on Saturday! Woohoo!

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spanish Artillery Limber

Hello everyone!
It's been a busy week and a half. My part of the country got hit with ice/snow storms over the weekend which made it very difficult to post anything due to the iffy internet connection. This week is my finals week which means there won't be many new things painted, but I was able to get a few things done last weekend which I'll add to the blog over the next few days. I'd like to start with a little project... which also happens to be the first "WIP" that I've ever done: a limber for the Real Cuerpo de la Artilleria, Spain's artillery Corps. I decided I wanted a foot artillery limber drawn by a pair of oxen to go with the artillery and guns I got on eBay and went to rummaging through the lead/plastic pile for suitable parts:
(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)
The base materials: oxen, wheels and wagon tounge from an old 1/76 scale "American settlers" plastic kit I've had for years, some wire and an AB French 8 pounder. Some materials, like a 'matchstick,' greenstuff and a paperclip, aren't shown.

I cut a piece of wire to act as the axle between the plastic wheels, then attached it to the wagon tounge with greenstuff to make it look like a solid, wooden limber axle.

Another view. Once the greenstuff dried I carved it down to look square. At this point I also attached a hook made from paperclip wire to the back of the wagon for the gun to hook onto.

Here is a mockup of the limber with the oxen and gun. The AB gun was assembled with superglue. My original plan was to use greenstuff to make a yoke for the oxen, but this proved fruitless with my minimal sculpting skill.
Instead, I opted to make a miniature yoke from a small piece of basswood called a 'matchstick.' I've got hundreds of these that came in a bag from the craft section of Walmart. I carefully carved it with an X-acto blade to get the shape of the yoke.

I then bent two pieces of paperclip wire for the oxbows before I drilled out the yoke to accomidate them using the tip of my X-acto knife. When I was done, I had a miniature, working yoke. 

Here is the whole limber glued to its base and primed, ready for painting. I attached the yoke to the tounge with thread and superglue before I glued the oxen in place within the yoke.
And here's the finished product, painted, based and ready for the tabletop.

Everything that I found indicated that Spanish equipment for the Real Cuerpo was painted a bright blue with black iron fittings and brass gun barrels, which I've depicted here. Also on the base is one of the painted AWI minis from my last post painted in the uniform of the Real Cuerpo: Dark blue trousers and jacket piped red, with red cuffs, collars and turnbacks, brass buttons and insignia and high black gaiters. This uniform was very similar to that of the French Artillerie a Pied, save for the bicorne hats, worn with a gold trim and red cockade.

Overall, I think it turned out rather well. I hope you enjoyed this little "WIP" post!

Coming up: posts for the other units I painted last weekend. On their painting bases are a stand of French Hussars, a stand of Portuguese infantry, and a command stand and grenaider stand for my Spanish infantry. None will probably get painted until Friday night, I guess, but we'll see.

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for looking!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December!

Hello everyone!
Happy December! I hope everyone out there had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday--I know I did, complete with visiting family and the consumption of far too much food.
This long and photo-heavy post is kind of a mixed bag as I post up all of the work that I did over the holiday as well as a review of some new figures that arrived on Friday. First up is the Elite Company of the 3e Hussars that I've been promising to complete now for the past, what? Two weeks now? Anyways, here they are in all of their glory. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

All of these chaps are Essex miniatures. These hussars, being the elite company, are wearing the colpack (or busby): I figured it made them stand out from the rest of the regiment who are all wearing the shako. With this stand complete I now have half of the regiment completed, the most cavalry that I've ever been able to do!

Only three more stands and nine more horses to go...

Up next we have the final stand of the 5th Battalion of the 60th Regiment of Foot.


These four figures, like the others I've painted up as members of this battalion, are all the fabulous AB scuplts that I praise so fervently. With these last four figures done the three rifle companies from the 5/60th that were attached to Mackinnon's brigade of the British 3rd Division are complete! Here's a group photo of all twelve figures skirmishing:

Finally for today, a small review of some figures that I scored on eBay last week. These guys were a mixed lot of American War of Independence miniatures that I placed a bid on on a whim, seeing as the pictures of the figs themselves were blurry and they were cheap, as I was able to win the auction for very little; in fact, I paid more for shipping. "Now Chuck," I can hear y'all saying, "here you go again: why on Earth would you get AWI figures when you game Napoleonics?" Well, my intention is to use these minis as Napoleonic Spanish in 1806 uniforms (i.e white uniforms with different colored facings for different regiments and bicornes). At 15mm scale one would need to be looking closely to spot them for what they truly are. Anyways, on with the review!
Initial Impressions:
Because the pictures on eBay were blurry, I had little idea as to what I was getting in this lot. I knew that there were some flagbearers with plain cast flags (my favorite!) as well as some artillery in the lot, but I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many figures came in this lot and how varied they were.

Infantry: I'm unsure of the manufacturer... some of them seem to be Essex figures.
These figures are your average sized "15mm" figures, scaling well with Essex and Minifigs whilst being a hair bigger than Heritage and Old Glory and smaller than AB.

Artillery and Crew: Uncertain manufacturer. The guns seem to be de Valliere 6 pounders.


Casting quality seems to be decent. Most of the sulpts are rather basic, with little in the way of equipment as was common of the 18th Century armies that the figures are meant to represent, and, consequentially, common within Spain's armies during the Napoleonic Wars. The guns are especially nice, with the barrels including both a cipher near the touchhole and cast dolphins over the trunnions,  which, though indicative of guns of the French de Valliere System commonly used in the AWI, for me reflects the somewhat arcahic feel of Spain's armies in this time period.

Command: Three flag-bearers, three drummers, five foot and two mounted officers.


In total there were 18 infantrymen, four artillerymen, three drummers, three flagbearers, five foot officers, two mounted officers (without horses) and two artillery pieces: 35 figures and two guns. I paid $9.05 for them, which divided by 37 comes out to $0.24 per figure/gun. A pretty good value for metal figures.

Overall Impression:

Overall I like them and I think they will work well as Spaniards despite the grab-bag of manufacturers. I'm disappointed that the two mounted officers do not have horses to go with them, but that's ok. I'm pretty sure one of them is supposed to be George Washington wrapped in a cape, so I won't be able to use that figure as a Spanisard anyway. I will not be able to have enough figures for a full 36 man standard-sized battalion of these guys, but as Spanish infantry regiments at the time were realtively small given the state of the War in Spain post-1808 I don't think this will be a problem. Combined with two stands of artillery and I think I came out ahead with this lot.

As I paint these guys I'll give more details on their equipment and whatnot.

Coming up: On painting bases right now are another stand of 3e Hussars, a stand of Portuguese infantry and the brigade command stand for the Vistula Legion. I probably won't be able to get much of anything done until next weekend as I have a very busy week at school as the semester winds down.

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!